leadership the art of cultivating a community

Leadership: The Art of Cultivating a community. Google the word - PDF document

1 Leadership: The Art of Cultivating a community. Google the word leadership and you get over five and a half billion results. But we dont really live in the Google world. We live in the real world , the world of Amazon-dot-com. In

  1. 1 Leadership: The Art of Cultivating a community. Google the word “leadership” and you get over five and a half billion results. But we don’t really live in the Google world. We live in the real world , the world of Amazon-dot-com. In that world there are forty thousand books on leadership. Forty thousand books for sale right now for people who want to know how to lead. What is this thing you can write forty thousand books about? An inborn trait, or ability, that only a few lucky people happen to have? Is leadership simply a kind of charisma that puts you out in front, maybe a set of skills you learned—possibly while growing up as the oldest sibling? Leadership is an art; a special kind of art. Leadership is not about power over people. It’s about power with people, the power of people working toward a common goal. Leadership is more about character than charisma. Leadership is not about cleverness, but compassion. It gets very personal, about as personal as you can get. A couple of thousand years ago Aristotle defined the arts and he used the word art to mean anything man-made, or not found alone in nature. The word art was short for the word artificial . He divided the arts into three categories: The fine arts, like a painting, sculpture or music, something created for its own sake

  2. 2 The practical arts, like the art of the woodworker, who may create a practical object, like a chair, or house. He called the third category the cooperative arts, a category into which he put the physician, the teacher and the farmer. He explained that a person can be healthy without ever seeing a doctor, plants can grow in the wild without cultivation, and people can learn by themselves. But when the doctor, teacher and farmer cooperate with nature, we clearly have a healthier, better-educated and better-fed community. That’s what makes leadership a cooperative art. Cooperating with human nature. Fast forward two-thousand-four-hundred years to another leader: Clarence Dellinger. Clarence was born just about a hundred years ago, in 1920. Clarence was a Farmers’ Market leader. When he was sixteen years old, he wrote down ten principles that guided his life in relationships and business, based in honesty, fairness and integrity. Not long after that, in his early twenties, he found himself halfway around the world, in the middle of World War II. Then came the 50’s and Clarence got some land. Clarence was a kind of hippie, even before the word was invented.

  3. 3 Around 1960, at the age of 40, he began wheeling his old pickup truck into town to sell his excess produce. I doubt that anyone thought of him as a leader at the time—he was just this guy with a vegetable stand. But he was one of the first in the state to be certified as an organic grower. He was organic before it was cool. And he kept showing up with his vegetables, week after week, year after year, decade after decade. Other farmers followed suit, and a farmers’ market formed around him. This group of farmer-vendors eventually created a bona-fide organization, with bylaws, even Robert’s Rules of Order. Then, in 1994, a non-stock corporation was formed and certified by the state of Virginia. It was a member association, owned, governed and operated by the vendors themselves. Clarence was on the board of directors for the first ten years. By the time Clarence was 90 he was surrounded by some 50 vendors, at a million-dollar market. His pickup truck was just as rickety, and he was still using the same set of scales that he had been using since the early days. A set of scales that he intercepted on their way to the landfill, before they called them landfills.

  4. 4 The vendors would have potlucks, meetings, sometimes picnics…and Clarence would stand up and start talking about the beginning of it all, and we’d wait for him to finish. He’d go on and on, mostly we couldn’t really hear him, but we knew, somehow, he was saying something that meant a lot to him. Even the new vendors sensed, without knowing exactly why, that he was a valued member of our community. I suspect he was trying to gently show us the way, hoping we would understand, and agree with those ten principles he had worked out. He was still spreading the gospel of honesty, fairness and integrity and it’s too bad we couldn’t hear him better, and more often. I’d like to hear a conversation between Clarence Dellinger and Aristotle, these two thought leaders separated by two thousand years. They could have met at the farmer’s market, and talked about what’s changed and what hasn’t, they could have chatted about honesty, fairness and integrity. And the price of eggs. And it would have been nice to have Donna Hicks in that conversation. Donna Hicks specializes in Dignity. She teaches at Harvard, and for the past 25 years has traveled the world, the trouble spots that you hear about in the news; introducing, explaining and training people in the concept of dignity, and its role in bringing people together.

  5. 5 Last year she wrote a book called Leading with Dignity: How to Create a Culture That Brings Out the Best in People. In Donna Hick’s seminars, trainings, speeches…she stresses that real leadership is based on honoring dignity, which she defines as every person’s inherent sense of value and self- worth. Every person is born with, and deserves, to know that they matter. That they have a sense of self-worth that no one can deny. Respect is different, because true respect must be earned. Dignity is to be honored simply because you’re dealing with a fellow human. Dignity is at the heart of how people get along. Violating someone’s sense of self-worth is big trouble. Honoring someone’s dignity is the key to great leadership. This image cannot currently be displayed. Imagine even a lowly pack animal like a donkey. The wisest of the ancients knew that if you could choose between whacking that poor animal with a stick and leading it with a carrot, you would always go with the carrot. Which brings us back to farmers markets. Farmers Markets are where commerce and community become one. That takes some organization, and management, and leading. Dependence, independence, interdependence There are three developmental stages that can apply to organizations as well as people. In the beginning, as a small child, or for any person’s earliest days in a new job, or for a fledgling organization, you are totally dependent on those around you. Eventually you absorb enough information and insight to start managing yourself. That’s the independent stage, the stage that writer Steven Covey says rebellious teenagers go through. It’s also a stage you can get stuck in, for the rest of your life. Or the rest of the life of the organization.

  6. 6 The third stage, interdependence, brings out the real leader in you. Now you re-learn how to depend on others, not for survival, but for growth and development. For reaching goals that no one person could ever reach alone. For cultivating a strong and healthy community. A true community is diverse. A real community should not sound like a collection of clones chanting in unison, more like a full orchestra, with sections, individuals, counterpoint, syncopation and harmony. To create a real community, you have to cultivate. Nurture. Lead. It’s an art. A cooperative art. Rugged individualists need not apply. Donna Hicks looks at leadership and community through the lens of Dignity. A bit like Aristotle, she breaks it down to three levels. She calls it the Three ‘C’s of Dignity, and she means three connections: to your own dignity, to the dignity of those around you, and to the greater purpose that brings you together. And here’s where it gets personal. When you are truly in touch with your own sense of worth, you’re more open to recognize that of others. When you don’t feel threatened, when your dignity is honored, the way is open to treat others in the same way. And when the whole community, by and large, recognizes the value of a greater project, or idea, or vision, the sum truly does become greater than the parts. Honoring dignity brings out the best in people, and that’s exactly what a leader is supposed to do. The art of persuasion In practice, leaders persuade. Our old friend Aristotle wrote about persuasion. There are 9,000 books on persuasion for sale at Amazon.com. If you change word to ‘selling’, you find 40,000, which comes out to one for every book about leadership. Aristotle’s Rhetoric is one of the earliest books about salesmanship, about persuasion. Here’s his advice, and all you have to do is learn the meaning of three words; Ethos, Pathos and Logos.

Download Presentation
Download Policy: The content available on the website is offered to you 'AS IS' for your personal information and use only. It cannot be commercialized, licensed, or distributed on other websites without prior consent from the author. To download a presentation, simply click this link. If you encounter any difficulties during the download process, it's possible that the publisher has removed the file from their server.


More recommend